Fears over Auckland housing boom

Population could cripple suburbs, leaders say

SCOTT MORGAN
Last updated 11:17 20/11/2012
Housing
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ
URBAN SPRAWL: Auckland needs to accommodate an extra million residents in the next 30 years.

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Plans to develop more apartments and terraced housing in South Auckland have met a cool reception from local boards.

Development along public transport routes is a key element of Auckland Council's Unitary Plan - the rule book for housing that will aim to a predicted population of 2 million people by 2040.

But Manurewa Local Board chairman Angela Dalton isn't convinced the council is headed in the right direction.

"We can't support intensification in town centres for a number of reasons," she says.

"We've already got populations we can't provide for in terms of community facilities and schooling."

Safety and security are also issues for her area.

Dalton there are some areas in Manurewa where more houses could be built but town centres aren't among them.

Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman John McCracken says he's more than happy for apartments to be built in the Manukau city centre.

"We could have a very, very attractive city centre.

"I think people expect that kind of activity in a metropolitan centre."

That includes developers looking at converting existing office buildings into apartments.

But developing intensive housing is a different scenario, he says.

He's concerned about the effect more people would have on existing infrastructure like schools and parks.

"Schools will have to look at going multilevel. It's going to impact on all aspects of recreational space. We're not making any more land in our area.

"It's going to have to be managed very, very carefully.

"We've got to make sure we're not creating an urban wasteland."

And Papakura Local Board chairman Hine Joyce-Tahere says protecting existing green space in her area is important.

"There are other areas developing now that could be filled up before you start getting into green space.

"Apartments and terraced housing will all be part of it.

"It's about making it a really nice development and not just putting them in hodge podge," she says.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says people will get their say in March when the draft plan is made public.

Feedback will shape the proposed plan that will be formally notified for submissions around October next year.

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- Manukau Courier

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